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Madame Bovary takes place in provincial northern France, near the town of Rouen in Normandy. Charles Bovary is a shy, oddly dressed teenager arriving at a new school where his new classmates ridicule him. Charles struggles his way to a second-rate medical degree and becomes an Officier de santé in the Public Health Service. He marries the woman his mother has chosen for him, the unpleasant but supposedly rich widow Héloïse Dubuc. He sets out to build a practice in the village of Tôtes. One day, Charles visits a local farm to set the owner's broken leg and meets his patient's daughter, Emma Rouault. Emma is a beautiful, poetically dressed young woman who has received a good education in a convent. She has a powerful yearning for luxury and romance inspired by reading popular novels. Charles is immediately attracted to her, and visits his patient far more often than necessary, until Héloïse's jealousy puts a stop to the visits. When Héloïse unexpectedly dies, Charles waits a decent interval before courting Emma in earnest. Her father gives his consent, and Emma and Charles marry.
Madame Bovary (Chiltern Classic)
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